Americans Are in Love With SUVs and Pickups

The car as we have known it appears to be doomed in the U.S.

No, not because we’ll all be biking or taking buses or flying with jet packs or riding around in automated vehicles. Sure, a lot of people think that last one is coming soon. Technology analyst Horace Dediu is betting on bikes. And I’m not willing to totally count out the possible triumph of buses or jet packs.

But until that glorious day comes — whichever kind of day it is — it appears that Americans will be driving around not in cars but in sport utility vehicles, minivans and pickups.

Cars Resume Their Decline
Car sales as a percentage of total U.S. light-vehicle sales
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

This exercise in chart making was inspired by a new paper from Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. After decades of losing market share to the vehicles classified as “light trucks,” cars staged a bit of a comeback starting in 2005. It was yet another of those data points — along with declines in vehicle miles driven, slowing population growth in the suburbs, and millennials not buying houses or cars — that seemed to point to a more compact, more urban, more sustainable future for the U.S.


Read the full article from Bloomberg: